Latest storage move completes three-year push by parent company Dell Technologies to streamline product portfolio
Dell EMC this week introduced PowerFlex, a software-defined storage (SDS) solution that is the latest in a recent string of announcements around its storage business and the culmination of a three-year effort by parent Dell Technologies to streamline its product portfolio and bring it under the “Power” moniker.
The Lowdown: PowerFlex used to be called VxFlex, with flexibility being a key characteristic in an IT environment that’s increasingly data-centric and is forcing organizations to be able to quickly adapt to rapidly changing business demands.
The Details: PowerFlex provides a range of high-performance, rapidly scalable, and highly resilient storage services that can be used in disaggregated, bare metal, or multi-hypervisor deployments. It can run on thousands of nodes and reach six-nines of availability. It can run both modern and traditional applications on a single platform, from bare-metal databases and virtualized workloads to cloud-native containerized applications.
The offering also enables organizations to mix and match hypervisors or bare-metal operating systems via a two-layer disaggregated infrastructure, all of which lets them evolve workloads and infrastructure as business demands change.
Dell EMC offers PowerFlex in appliance and rack options and includes integrated network and professional support. There also are new features, including:
> Replication and disaster recovery: That includes asynchronous replication and disaster recovery with a recovery point objective (RPO) as low as 30 seconds.
> Secure snapshots: These are important to enterprises with specific corporate governance and compliance requirements, such as those in industries like healthcare and finance.
The Impact: Growing demand for SDS – which separates the storage software from the underlying hardware, giving organizations more options and flexibility in deployment and management and lowering costs – is being fueled by such drivers as the rapid growth of unstructured data, the surging amount of data being generated at the edge, and the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT). Mordor Intelligence analysts expect the SDS software market to jump from $9.4 billion last year to $37.24 billion by 2025.
Background: Dell has pushed to simplify its product lineup, in part by building off of its PowerEdge servers. It’s introduced such offerings as PowerSwitch in networking, PowerOne for autonomous infrastructure, and PowerProtect for data protection. More recently, the focus has been on the storage portfolio, including the release last year of the PowerMax all-flash storage. In May, the company rolled out PowerStore storage array for primary storage for both midrange companies and larger enterprises and earlier this month introduced PowerScale for unstructured data. Already in place was PowerVault for entry-level businesses.
The Buzz: “In the data era, it’s more critical than ever for IT to adapt quickly to meet changing workload, scalability, and performance requirements,” Travis Vigil, senior vice president of product management for Dell’s Storage and Data Protection business, wrote in a blog post. “The PowerFlex family, previously known as VxFlex, is now part of our Power portfolio, helping companies harness the potential of software and embrace change while delivering consistent, predictable IT outcomes that drive business forward.”
“PowerFlex supports the entire infrastructure our school needs in order to operate,” said David Lee, director of IT Infrastructure and development at the Nexus International School. “The platform’s massive performance and availability allowed us to seamlessly transition to working from home and off-campus learning.”